Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Aidmatrix: A Model for Safeguarding and Fostering Global Food Security Gains

by Tyrone Hall on

Getting the right aid to people when and where they need it most, logistics, is still a major challenge for the global humanitarian sector. But, Aidmatrix, an Irving, Texas based non-profit that employs logistics technology to tackle systemic challenges in the highly complex aid sector, is making major gains.

According to Scott McCallum, President & CEO of Aidmatrix, “more than 35,000 corporate, nonprofit and government partners use our technology solutions to move more than $1.5 billion in aid annually, worldwide, which impacts the lives of more than 65 million people”.

The ‘humanitarian technologist’ reconfigures widely used applications in the private sector for humanitarian causes, including disaster, hunger, medical, and transportation relief. According to McCallum, Aidmatrix is akin to a wedding-registry, as it provides a one-stop shop for the “registry of needs and donations”. Last year, Aidmatrix Foundation was awarded a contract with USAID to provide $1.3 million worth of technology for efforts in Haiti, 90% of which was financed by the non-profit’s partners—Accenture, UPS, AT&T, among others.

Read the full story

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aidmatrix Leverages Microsoft’s Azure Disaster Services for Japan

Upon arriving at the Microsoft this week in Redmond, WA – I was greeted by a friendly receptionist – and an Aidmatrix Poster.

The posters, set up in buildings all over Microsoft’s campus, feature the partnership between Aidmatrix, Microsoft and Avanade on our leading edge work with Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is a “cloud” or universal computer infrastructure that will soon allow Aidmatrix products to scale up quickly in times of disaster, instead of paying to have large numbers of servers sitting nearly idle – waiting for the big moment to happen. Microsoft Azure also will enable us to always have a version of our systems be physically close to the clients we serve, all around the world. This helps a disaster response program for Japan have the same quality of experience as one of our hunger relief systems in the USA.

Thanks to our brilliant technology team, led by Michael Ross, and tremendous support from Microsoft, Accenture and Avanade – initial components of The Aidmatrix Network are already running in Azure. Thank you to all of our partners that continue to invest in making The Aidmatrix Network the world’s leading humanitarian technology platform.

Check out the Microsoft Citizenship Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter @msftcitizenship

Check out the Aidmatrix Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter @aidmatrix

Keith Thode, Aidmatrix's Chief Operating Officer

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ISTAT Airlink - Making the charity connection

an article from on our partner ISTAT Airlink

Every airline I know, in cases where there is a tremendous humanitarian need, wants to be able to help out," explains Mark Dunkerley, chief executive of Hawaiian Airlines. "The difficulty we have as an airline isn't finding good causes to help, it is in fact making decisions between them."

A new initiative from the ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) Foundation - called AirLink - has been formed to help airlines make this decision, and, at least as important, to create a simple mechanism to connect airlines with charities and non-government organisations (NGOs).

The mechanism is the AirLink website. It acts as a free portal to link the capacity airlines offer with the needs of the good causes. "It helps matchmake between airlines and NGOs and aid agencies to facilitate making good intentions happen," says Dunkerley.

Read the full story

Story by Mark Pilling

Monday, June 6, 2011

UPS Blog: Logistics and Disaster Relief: How to Help (and Not Hurt) Relief Efforts When You Donate or Volunteer

by Joe Ruiz, Humanitarian Relief Program Manager at The UPS Foundation

I just returned from the annual meeting of the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) in Kansas City, just hours from Joplin, Missouri. The outpouring of support from the public has been unbelievable. But based on feedback I heard from first responders at the meeting, unsolicited donations of water, clothes and other items have significantly challenged relief efforts. One relief organization told me they have thousands of cases of water in their warehouse. The AP highlighted this issue in a story about junk donations creating problems for relief agencies helping tornado victims in Alabama.

In my role with The UPS Foundation, I receive hundreds of calls asking for UPS to ship unsolicited goods. The challenge is that these donations don’t meet the needs of the relief agencies that are helping victims. UPS does not transport collected items from unsolicited donors for relief efforts. Instead, we’ve established in-kind agreements with relief organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, CARE, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the Aidmatrix Network. Our goal is provide logistics support to deliver the right items to the right place at the right time.

Read the full story, including how Aidmatrix can manage donations during times of disasters

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Aidmatrix to Participate at the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) June 8-9

The Aid & International Development Forum is a leading global event dedicated to the effective delivery of humanitarian aid, disaster relief and development. It aims to facilitate networking, information sharing and improve cross-organization operations amongst those involved in the sector. Gov. McCallum will be speaking Wednesday at 3:15pm and Thursday at 4:30pm; Ms. Terri Hasdorff will be speaking Thursday at 3:15pm. Also, be sure to visit the Aidmatrix booth in the exhibition hall, table #1.

Visitors will benefit from interactive workshop sessions, opportunities to develop relationships and see the latest innovations in action.

It is a free to attend event. Register online today to confirm your place and receive important show updates at:

Aidmatrix at the International Disaster & Emergency Resilience (IDER) Conference 2011

Community Resilience was the theme of the 2011 International Disaster & Emergency Resilience (IDER) conference held in Florence, Italy on April 13 & 14. Representatives of civil agencies, NGOs, the United Nations, the European Commission and academic researchers and expert advisors from around the world took part in this conference. Here are a few comments I heard frequently from delegates at the conference: “ We need to find our strength and build deeper community resilience.” “Where is the pain most deeply felt?” “How can we heal wounds?” “Purpose can emerge from pain.”

Paola Albrito of the Head Regional Office for Europe, located in Brussels, Belgium, gave an overview of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, an initiative of the UN as part of their strategy for disaster reduction (UNISDR). The idea is to identify 25 role model cities, 500 active cities and 1,000 engaged cities in the program by end 2011. At present over 150 cities are participating.

“Ms. Albrito’s remarks set the tone for the conference in that a primary focus of disaster preparedness must be community-driven measures. Communities must learn to be self-motivating and self-measuring in order to reduce their vulnerability.” Elena Mendoza, Marketing Director, Europe, who represented Aidmatrix in Florence.

Professor David Alexander of the University of Florence, (CESPRO), considered the Japanese Tsunami in terms of community response and its ongoing impact. Case Studies in challenges driven by climate change, in particular, flooding; the importance of planning for the safety of animals during disasters; lessons from FEMA and the Salvation Army in the US; as well as a look at what was done right, for example, in building construction in earthquakes, provided an outstanding opportunity for engagement, resources, examples of best practices and a clear call to action and renewed efforts in disaster readiness at the local level.